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Jacqueline Shanes Named Board of Education President

Scott Silverstein will serve as vice-president.

Scott Silverstein, Scott Donner, and Patricia Venezia were sworn in at Monday's Board of Education meeting. Credit: Elizabeth Alterman
Scott Silverstein, Scott Donner, and Patricia Venezia were sworn in at Monday's Board of Education meeting. Credit: Elizabeth Alterman
The Springfield Board of Education nominated and selected Jacqueline Shanes as its president for 2014 at its reorganization meeting Monday evening. Shanes has previously served as the Board's president.

Scott Silverstein, who was sworn in for his second full term at the start of the meeting, was named vice-president. Patricia Venezia and Board newcomer Scott Donner were also sworn in by Board secretary Matthew Clarke.

The Board thanked outgoing President Steven Wolcott for his patience and leadership. Silverstein also thanked former Board member Irwin Sablosky, whose term ended in 2013, and said he was grateful to Sablosky for his service to the community and its students as well as for the guidance he provided during their years serving together.

Springfield Mayor Richard Huber addressed the Board and said he looks forward to the continued collaboration of the Board and the Township Committee. Huber said the committee will be sending a representative to Board meetings and, likewise, Shanes said the Board will continue to have members attend committee meetings. 

Springfield resident and former teacher Gale Donner also addressed the Board and expressed her concern that many students do not know the words to the Pledge of Allegiance nor their meaning. Donner, who said she taught for 32 years, recommended that teachers take time to go over the pledge line by line to ensure it is being said correctly and understood, which she said will lead to students feeling a greater sense of "pride in our country."

The Board also voted that should a snow day be necessary between Tuesday and Friday, Jan. 17, schools will open on Monday, Jan. 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Currently, schools are scheduled to be closed for the federal holiday. 

Superintendent of schools Michael Davino also advised residents that the tentative calendar dates for future Board of Ed meetings is subject to change and should not be used as a guide to begin planning vacations. While Davino said he can "guarantee" changes will be made, Board members said they will try to have the 2014-2015 school calendar available as soon as possible.

The next Board of Ed meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the media center at Jonathan Dayton High School. 
Mark Rodrick January 07, 2014 at 08:10 AM
The thought of saving a snow day by eliminating a national holiday, Martin Luther King sets a terrible example for our children. Further it is one of the few days that parents can be with their children who are also off. The teachers can hold classes one day into their summer break.
Warren Frank January 08, 2014 at 11:40 AM
While it would be nice to keep a national holiday off, there are many schools in New Jersey and around the country that do not close. Many businesses also stay open and offer it as a floating holiday for those who want to take the day off. As far as adding a day at the end of the calendar the last few days of school are already very little or non learning days and you would just be adding another day of child care for the school. Many camps and high school students jobs often start immediately after school ends and these students will not show up to school if they have to be elsewhere. Teachers also may have other jobs and unless it is absolutely necessary the school system should try to avoid adding on days into the summer.

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